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Former Vegans Describe Why They Abandoned Veganism

Updated January 9, 2020 13.0k views21 items

What makes a vegan quit the vegan lifestyle?

It’s not easy going totally plant-based. As a vegan, a person does not consume any animal products, but not just meat, poultry, and fish. They also do not consume anything derived from an animal, including dairy, eggs, or even honey. They also do not wear clothes or jewelry made from animals, like leather or fur coats. A lot of people may try out veganism for health or moral reasons, but it’s not a lifestyle for everyone. It’s extreme and can be hard to maintain.   

In a subreddit, Redditors explain why they quit being a vegan and offer insight into the lifestyle.

  • They Ended Up In The Emergency Room Several Times Before Being Diagnosed With Crohn's Disease 

    From Redditor /u/axolotlsaffect:

    Oh god, do fundamentalist vegans hate me

    I was a vegan for 20+ years with horrible GI pain - ended up in the emergency room several times and was finally diagnosed with a variation of Crohn’s

    My doctor advocated a very high protein/low residue diet which pretty much knocks out veganism. Within months of the diet, I was in remission with only a few minor incidents since in about 4 years. I’ve also lost weight, am much happier, my lifting workout is tons easier, and my overall health is much better

    I stopped being vegan for health reasons. God, that burns many vegans’ biscuits.

  • They Ate Carb-Heavy, Unhealthy Food Because Did Not Have Time To Cook Every Meal From Scratch

    From Redditor /u/roprog:

    I was a vegan (for environmental reasons) until I started working as a nanny and found it just wasn't possible to maintain a healthy vegan diet without the time (and kitchen cupboard space) to cook everything from scratch. There's a lot of readily available vegan food now, but 10 years ago there really wasn't. I ended up eating lots of carb-heavy foods because they were quick and it just wasn't healthy. I hate cooking now (because nannying is so much about food preparation) so being vegan just isn't an option for me if I don't want to live off pasta and Ragu. I don't think you have to 100% commit to a diet/lifestyle for it to be beneficial, if you eat veggie/vegan meals half the week that's good - I think it adds too much pressure if its all or nothing and makes people completely "fall off the wagon" if they find it tough.

  • They Could Not Stand The Judgmental Community

    From Redditor /u/SecretAgentOtter:

    I joined a vegan/vegetarian group on Facebook and all the ”I’m better than you”, ”Meat eaters suck!” ”Oh you’re a vegetarian? You suck too!” comments and smug ways got me so appalled by the whole thing that I just grew tired out of frustration. I also want to be able to go out and eat without having to restrict myself or the people in my company. I’m still some sort of semi-vegetarian though since I do think people should be more aware of how much meat/dairy we are consuming and that there are really good substitutions! Just don’t shove the vegan message down everyone's throats. Have a mature and informative non-judgmental discussion, inspire don’t criticize.

  • Their Constant Worry Over Vegan Diet Led To Anxiety

    From Redditor /u/sammyc1994:

    As a teen I had an eating disorder which I (mostly) grew out of over the past 3-4 years. I'd turned vegan for the right reasons, but constantly checking food labels for ingredients, worrying about nutrition and the anxiety associated with going to restaurants made me feel like I was falling back into anorexia. I still eat consciously, but putting myself into the vegan box was too much for my mental health.